What Can Jesus Do?


One of my favorite songs to sing in the choir at church when I was a little girl is called “What can Jesus do?” or at least I think it is.

Once I decided to use a video that Pap, Paul, Chitter, and I made of the song a few years back for this week’s Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot I googled around trying to find out who wrote it. I couldn’t find nothing about the song, not even a video of someone else doing it on youtube.

I decided I must have the wrong name so I asked Paul. He said to try “This is What He’ll do.” That didn’t turn up anything either.

I looked in all the hymnals I had and couldn’t find it. I think the one we used at church is down at Pap’s but I was too lazy to walk down there and see so I finally gave up.

I like the peppy tune and the way the lines rise up in intensity. When I was a young girl singing the song always made me feel like it was an uplifting anthem uniting everyone in hope.

Since I told you what I liked about the song now I’ll tell you what I like about the video.

  • Pap and Paul’s lovely harmony
  • The way Chatter plays her guitar like she’s been doing it her whole life
  • Pap’s hair-he cut it himself for the last twenty years of his life if not longer
  • The way Paul closes his eyes-I think it helps him remember the words or stay on pitch-Chatter does it too
  • The way Pap sways back and forth and the little smile he gives someone off camera at the end of the last verse-I’m sure it was Chitter

Most days I can talk about Pap without being too sad but other days the silliest things makes me miss him so bad I can’t stand it.

We watch a lot of old re-runs around the Blind Pig house: Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith, The Rifle Man, and such as that. The other day a commercial for the old MASH show came on. I asked The Deer Hunter if he ever watched it as a kid he said no and asked if I did. I said “No Pap wouldn’t let us because he thought it was silly” and then practically burst into tears. The Deer Hunter said “What is it?” When I could talk again I said “I just miss him so.” The Deer Hunter said “I know I miss him too.”


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  • Reply
    Tom Gervat
    January 10, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Tipper, I first heard “What Can He Do” back in the sixties on a Jimmie Davis “Amazing Grace” LP . (There are several of them on Ebay now). The song was written by Vep Ellis (1917-1988) who wrote scores of gospel songs you’d be familiar with, and the Jimmie Davis version is on YouTube, but I like your family’s version best. What a beautiful musical legacy God has blessed you with,

    • Reply
      January 11, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Tom-thank you for sharing that information and the link-great version of the song! Makes my day to know you enjoy our music 🙂

  • Reply
    June 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm


    Thanks for posting this and bringing back memories. I hadn’t noticed Pap’s smile and eyebrow raising toward someone off camera until you point it out. Great little moment. Makes me wonder what Chitter was up to that elicited that look from him. No telling. Pap was very interested in the Korean War but not so much in the comedy between Hawkeye and Pierce 🙂 I had never heard this song before he had me learn it and sing it with him. When you mentioned that you felt like the lines rose in intensity, it reminded me that not long after this video, Pap altered the arrangement so that on the last quarter of the chorus “Hear every time you pray…” he had me go up to the notes that he sang there in the video, and he went on up to an even higher harmony. It really helped the song. Too bad we never shot a video of it in that arrangement. Thanks again for this post.

  • Reply
    Brenda Schlosser
    June 5, 2018 at 12:50 am

    I don’t recall hearing or singing this growing up, but we did sing a song called, It Is No Secret, What God Can Do.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    June 5, 2018 at 12:18 am

    I’m not religious. Not at all. Not the least bit.

    But I just love the gospel and Christian songs by Pap, Paul, Chitter, Chatter, Tipper and the cousins.

    Pap is with us to eternity in his music, strumming and singing in the kitchen, honest and poignant.

    Paul anchors every song with his adroit guitar picking and heartfelt vocals, the centerpiece of it all.

    Chitter and Chatter–and sometimes Mama Tipper–bring it all together. I call her Mama Tipper, though she is my daughter’s age (49?).

    The Pressley twins–I have identical twin granddaughters–are inspiring, giving hope for tomorrow.

    This family is genuine, through and through. My hat goes off to them.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Oh, my word! I LOVE this song! I haven’t heard this for years. My dear Mom and Daddy and I used to sing this song together, and oh, Tipper, I know exactly what you mean about missing Pap. I have been missing mine SO much, too. It is just heartwrenching, even though we know they are in Heaven, and we will see them again someday, we miss them SO much down here. Grief is so hard. You can think you have walked through all of the stages, and then, lo and behold, the slightest thing can set you back to stage one again. I don’t think we will ever stop missing them. There is just this deep, aching void inside when we think of them. No wonder Jesus wept when He saw His friends weeping and grieving for Lazarus. He FEELS what we feel. That is a comfort. Sometime, if we ever get to meet up and sing together, I would love for you to hear a song I wrote called, “I Hear Angels Singing.” It is about those loved ones who have gone on before us and how they are cheering us on, etc. My heart goes out to you so much in your grief. Wish I could give you a big hug. God bless you and hold you close. GREAT job on the song…they sing it like we used to sing it…I can’t even begin to say how much this meant to me tonight.

  • Reply
    Donna Wofford
    June 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Wonderful singing and precious memories.

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    June 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    i bet you do miss him its only natural whenever you play his musi c is a blessing for you to watch and remember all the good times you had with him have a good week

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    June 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Love that song, Tipper, although I don’t remember hearing it before. The voices of Pap and Paul blend so beautifully together. It is tough when we lose one of our dearest family members even though we know we will get to see them again. My Father passed 14 years ago at the age of 88 and my Mother 13 years at the age of 88. Both terminally ill so I knew they were going to a better place but like you even years later I can get teary eyed missing them and thinking of the fun times we had. Many times I have wished I could talk to Mother and Daddy. If you have had the blessing of a close-knit, loving family that is how you feel. It will get a little easier but the missing them I don’t think ever goes away.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t recon I ever heard that song, but I like it’s peppy tune. Chatter always looks so relaxed, she acts like she’s been doing that for years. Pap once told me that he had never seen nobody pick-up the Base as quickly as you. I love you’all’s singing and playing, as do most folks. Paul and Chitter have my #1 song right now, “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” …Ken

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Nothing I say can heal the pain, and lose you all feel from time to time, just pray it gets easier, just remember this is just a little stopping place and you’ll see him again someday, he left you a lot of good memories, and you have a great library of videos, don’t be ashamed of your tears, it’s cause you love him so much, and that’s natural. We were just watching an investigative story on T.V the other night and the awful things this Father did to his own Daughter for years is just the Devil incarnated evil and before he killed her eventually, I know she wished she could erase him out of her mind and life. But yours was filled with Love, and compassion, and eternal joy, because of the love he had for the Lord, his family and everyone else, that will last forever because our God is Eternal. God bless you all.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I cut my own hair too, in the shower, with a Gillette Mach III Turbo. It gives me the slickest haircut a man can get.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Wonderful: Great way to kick off Sunday Morning preparing for church. Thanks for sharing the video, and thanks for sharing your heartfelt memories! You and your family are a blessing!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard the song. Pap and Paul can make any song sound good.

  • Reply
    aw griffgrowin
    June 3, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Really enjoyed. As far as I can tell, I’ve never heard that song.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Bless you, Tipper. Pap was such a wonderful person, and you can just tell this by his singing and the things he taught you. You will miss him through the years, but it will get easier. It does not get easier because they become less important, but because time has elapsed and the pain has dulled a bit. Mom always told me that God does not mean for us to grieve forever, and we are designed not to. I had a wise mother, and now I have to remember all the good teachings to adjust to losing her.

  • Reply
    Nina Chastain
    June 3, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Tipper , would the name of that song be “What can He Do ” ?

    • Reply
      June 5, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Nina-it probably is 🙂 I should have know to ask you!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 3, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Unfortunately I don’t get any sound. But we in this house are with you on the re-runs. Our kids grew up with Lucy, Opie and similar characters. From about 1980 or so on we don’t know much about what was, or is now, on prime time TV. It was easy for me because we did not have a TV when I was growing up.

    You have shown us in many ways how you were a blessing to your Dad and he to you. I’m sure the same was true for Paul and Steve. It would be a tragedy for you personally if you ever could stop missing him but it is crystal clear there is no danger. He was a well-loved man by so many, thus was rich. And he knew it.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Rodriguez
    June 3, 2018 at 6:36 am


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